Posts Tagged ‘Adoption from Honduras’

A kids’ book with a (subtle) adoption theme

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I’m forever on the look-out for books that my children will enjoy reading and/or listening to me read, a task more daunting than it may appear. Olivia and Mateo know what they like, and it’s not everything. My unscientific research reveals a few surefire elements: likeable characters around 7 and 9, the same ages as my kids; a fun and engaging plot that’s not “too scary”; and a cast that includes cute, furry animals, preferably small.

So when a friend recommended Susan Clymer’s There’s a Hamster in My Lunchbox, published in 1994, and gave it this review: “Sweet school-kids. Not scary at all. A cute, furry Teddy Bear hamster named Squeaks.  Oh, and by the way, the main character is a girl named Elizabeth, who was born in Honduras and adopted by a single mom from Kansas,” I took note. A chapter book about a cute, furry hamster that also featured an adoption theme? I ordered a copy that afternoon. (Used, on Amazon; the title is currently out of print.)

As I introduced the book to my kids I made no mention of the underlying theme, but when I got to page six and read this paragraph about the hamster known as Squeaks–

“Can we adopt her?” Elizabeth asked softly. She knew all about adoption. She had been born in Central America in a country called Honduras. Mom had adopted her when she was a baby. Her little sister had been adopted, too. –

Mateo turned to me with wide eyes, and in a voice filled with wonder said, “Elizabeth’s adopted too!”

Olivia, less impressed, said nothing, but the fact registered. I know this because a few chapters later my daughter said, in the world-weary tone of an older, wiser sister, ”I’m tired of thinking about adoption. Can we move on?” 

In our home, adoption is a subject that’s discussed, debated, and dissected, and has been for many years. Maybe too much, too often? Reading the book together gave Olivia a way to communicate the complexity of her feelings about adoption, without having to tell me directly. Sometimes, she’d just rather not think about it, thank you very much. That’s important information I need to hear, too.

Two thumbs up from us for There’s a Hamster in My Lunchbox. Even without the adoption theme, the book is a good, fun read.

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Adoption from Honduras

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

The Fort Worth, Texas-based Gladney Center for Adoption is one of four U.S. agencies recently approved to process adoptions through Honduras, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reported yesterday, in an article by Anna M. Tinsley titled Gladney Center OK’d for Adoption. This could be good news for potential adoptive families who feel an affinity and connection to the culture and heritage of Central America. In 2010, Honduras finalized nine cases for international adoption. In the article, Tinsley writes:

“We haven’t advertised this yet because we don’t have 100 percent of our ducks in order,” said Marshall Williams, Gladney’s vice president of international adoptions and family services. “But we have had a remarkable number of people contacting us, indicating their interest in adopting from Honduras.”

Williams is in Honduras this week to hire an attorney and facilitator, the last two employees needed to get the effort under way.

Gladney initially applied to handle adoptions there about two years ago. After a change in government, the Honduran agency that oversees international adoptions recently approved Gladney and three other U.S. agencies to facilitate adoptions of Honduran children.

“There are many thousands of orphans in Honduras that would benefit from intercountry adoption,” said Chuck Johnson, CEO of the National Council for Adoption. “In 2010, there were only nine intercountry adoptions.”

“There is definitely interest in adopting from Latin America. My hope is that the Honduran government can provide oversight to the intercountry adoption process and work with quality U.S. adoption service providers.”

Last month, a Honduran delegation visited the Gladney Center, meeting local staffers and observing how the adoption process is handled in the United States, officials said.

In 2009, there were four children adopted from Honduras, compared with 11 in 2008, 22 in 2007, three in 2006 and 10 in 2005, federal records show.

So far, Gladney officials are compiling a list of people who want to adopt from Honduras.

“There are fewer families in line, so it might go faster in the beginning,” Williams said.

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